Along with rolling out social media and content marketing programs, another equally important step is selling their worth to your attorneys. With no master formula to compute the exact value of social media, it can be especially challenging to get evidence-demanding attorneys on board. Here are six ways to motivate even the fieriest skeptics into online marketing action before they are left in the digital dust.
1. Share Analytics
Analytics are powerful tools in getting attorneys to realize the mass of people who are learning about them online. Do not keep this data hidden behind a marketing firewall! Analyze the information and then share it in an engaging way. Issue “Top 10” lists of the most-viewed bios and publications each month and include how content was discovered. List the referring web sites and search terms used. Getting your attorneys involved with this data can promote excitement and instill pride in maintaining a strong online presence.
2. Share and Source Your Followers
It is not enough to just tell attorneys that your firm has such-and-such number of followers of its social media accounts. Show them exactly who is following. Catalog the information and share it on your firm’s intranet. Importantly, whenever possible, trace your followers back to their source. If your online connections are current clients, be certain their relationship partners know of the digital connection. Along with your monthly updates on analytics, provide a list of the newest social media connections.
3. Dare to Compare
Take your attorneys’ top competitors and survey their social media and web presence. If you find some examples that really shine, print them out. Then, print out your attorneys’ information. Present both sets of printouts side-by-side and ask, “If you were searching for legal counsel and received a few referrals who would you call first? Who would you rather hire? Who appears most knowledgeable?” This exercise could help awaken them to the importance of engaging online.
4. Publicize Model Behavior
Most firms likely have an attorney or two who just “gets it” when it comes to online marketing. Find these social media and online rock stars and interview them on why and how they do it. Then, share their thoughts and advice firm-wide to inspire others to break out of their social media shell.
5. Nurture the Sparks
When someone jumps on board, keep them there by following up with regular one-on-one social media coaching sessions. Track news pertinent to their practice areas and recommend articles to share or topics for thought leadership. On the flip side, do not spend too much time trying to convert those who you know just will not do it.
6. Showcase Success
You will occasionally get new business that it is directly linked to social media and/or your website. With a solid content strategy in place, these types of leads should continue to grow. As that starts happening, do not let it go unnoticed. Exploit it. And do not forget to retell those success stories to skeptics to defend the value your social media initiatives.
Implementing the actions above will help open your attorneys’ eyes to the power of online marketing, so they may be more receptive the next time you ask them to write a client alert, post an update to LinkedIn or update their bio. One final pointer: strive to make the process as easy and painless as possible for your attorneys. For example, when you post an article, media mention or other news to your firm’s Web site, always send the associated attorneys a corresponding Twitter and/or LinkedIn update so that all he or she has to do is cut and paste. It does not get much easier than that.